School Jargon Buster

Below you will find some examples of words that are used in the school environment, both on this website, in the school and in other educational establishments with an explanation of what they mean. We hope you will find this guide helpful!

Achievement Describes both attainment i.e. the level achieved and the progress you have made from a starting point.
AfL Assessment for Learning – is the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there.
ASD Autism Spectrum Disorder
Attainment The actual result attained by the pupil.
Attainment Targets A general defined level of ability that a pupil is expected to achieve at each key stage in the National Curriculum.
Blending To draw individual sounds together to pronounce a word, e.g. f-l-a-p, blended together, reads flap.
Core Subjects English, maths and science: all pupils must study these subjects up to Key Stage 4.
CPD Continuing Professional Development
Creative Curriculum There are numerous interpretations of the concept of ‘the creative curriculum’. In some schools it means topics or themes, in others it means asking children what they want to learn. At Thorndown we do both.
DBS Disclosure & Barring Service – refers to the new agency created out of a merger between the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), its full title is The Disclosure and Barring Service. The checks and information provided will remain the same but will be branded DBS Checks.
DfE Department for Education
Differentiation A wide variety of teaching techniques and lesson adaptations that teachers use to pupils of differing abilities in the same class.
EAL English as an additional language
EBD Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
EHC Plan Educational Health Care Plan – An education, health and care plan is a document that says what support a child or young person who has special needs should have.
EWO Education Welfare Officer
EYFS Early Years Foundation Stage – A framework of care and Education for children from birth to five years of age. This stage typically means Nursery/Preschool and Reception Classes.
FFT Fischer Family Trust
FSM Free School Meals
FTE Full Time Equivalent
HLTA Higher Level Teaching Assistant
HMI Her Majesty’s Inspector of Schools
ICT Information and Communication Technology
IEP Individual Education Plan for SEN pupils
Inclusion Removing barriers to learning so all pupils can participate at their own level.
INSET In-Service Education and Training – Training for staff which takes place during the school year.
ISA Independent Safeguarding Authority
ITT Initial Teacher Training
IWB Interactive Whiteboard
Key Stage One Age 5-7 (Years 1 and 2)
Key Stage Two Age 7-11 (Years 3, 4, 5 and 6)
LA Local Authority
LAA Local Area Agreement
LAC Looked After Children
MLD Moderate Learning Difficulties
NAHT National Association of Head Teachers
NASUWT National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers
NGA National Governors’ Association
NLE National Leader of Education
NPQH National Professional Qualification for Headship
NQT Newly Qualified Teacher
NUT National Union of Teachers
Ofsted Office for Standards in Education
PE Physical Education
Performance Table Published by the DfE to compare school results.
Phonics Phonics refers to the method for teaching speakers of English to read and write their language. It involves connecting the sounds of spoken English with letters or groups of letters (e.g that the sound /k/ can be represented by c, k, ck or ch spellings) and teaching them to blend the sounds of letters together to produce approximate pronunciations of unknown words. In this way, phonics enables people to use individual sounds to construct words. For example, when taught the sounds for the letters t, p, a and s, one can build up the words “tap”, “pat”, “pats”, “taps” and “sat.”
PPA Planning, Preparation and Assessment time to which teachers are entitled.
Progression Pupils develop academically and personally from year to year and from one key stage to the next in a way which builds on what has already been achieved.
PRU Pupil Referral Unit
PSHE Personal Social Health and Economic education
PTA Parent Teacher Association. We call ours FOTs (Friends of Thorndown School)
QTS Qualified Teacher Status
RE Religious Education
SACREs Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education
SATs Standard Attainment Tests/Tasks – National Curriculum Tests and Tasks which take place at the end of Key Stage 1 and at the end of Key Stage 2.
SCR Single Central Record – Schools must hold a single central record of all adults working with pupils. The records hold security and ID checks among other specific information.
SENCO Special Educational Needs Coordinator
SIP School Improvement Plan
SLE Specialist Leader of Education
SLT Senior Leadership Team
SMSC Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (development)
TA Teaching Assistant
Transition The movement of pupils from Key Stage to Key Stage or school to school and the procedures associated with it.
VCOP Vocabulary, connectives, openers and punctuation pupils are expected to use in their writing.